Talk:Extreme weather

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2004 Nova Scotia blizzard deaths?[edit]

Where did the figures of 9 and 100 dead in the two 2004 Nova Scotia blizzards come from? I don't remember hearing about any deaths, let alone 100.

Extrapolation graph[edit]

The cost of extreme weather is rising very rapidly. source data: IPCC, 2001. Some of the cost increase is due to added exposure such as building on the coast, and some of it is due to global warming.

I am replacing this graph because it is directly pertinent to this page, because it was adjusted from an earlier version based on comments at Talk:Global warming, and because it very precisely predicted the preliminary 2005 results from the 1950-1998 IPCC data. Click on the graphic for more information. —James S. 19:34, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

"very precisely" is false - something is either precise, or it is not, and your data falls within a very, very wide range you've allowed, which is designed specifically for imprecision. furthermore, the 2005 information is informal, and cannot be considered valid for a graph that purports to be based upon data. it is irrelevant to an article about extreme weather. extreme weather is weather that has already occurred, and for which we have data, and examples. your 'predictions' are not informational. the 'window' you've given yourself allows for you to be "right" given just about any future costs. it's little different from guesses. this is an encyclopedia, not a place where we speculate about a future that has not arrived. as well, the costs associated with extreme weather are far more a factor of population and economic growth, rather than on the weather itself. if a category three hurricane hits a deserted island, no costs are incurred, even though the hurricane's power is 'extreme'. if the same island later becomes populated with a million people and a thousand five star hotels, and is again hit with a category three hurricane, then the costs in human lives and property will be astronomical - but not owing to any greater power in the storm itself. furthermore, according to wikipedia guidelines regarding original research (WP:NOR, and more specifically Wikipedia:No_original_research#What_counts_as_a_reputable_publication.3F), this graph is inappropriate content to be added. on this, and many other bases, i am removing the graph. Anastrophe 19:57, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I mean by "very precisely" that the predicted $200 billion is very close to the prelimiary 2005 EDS estimate, especially given the width of the confidence interval to which you are apparently referring. Extrapolation is simply a way of displaying the underlying data, which in this case was published in 2001 by the IPCC. Your scare-quoted complaints about the duration of extrapolation are addressed by the presence of the confidence interval. —James S. 20:11, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
why must we continue rehashing this debate? your graph is original research. your confidence interval means you'll be "right" given almost any scenario. "very precisely" and "very close" constitutes an oxymoron - hardly scientific. the graph is 'junk science', pure and simple. the costs are primarily sociological in origin; your graph is designed to suggest that the costs are due to weather becoming more extreme. why must we do this over and over? your graph is original research, and definitely falls within those bounds based on the 'reputable publication' criterion. there is only one person on wikipedia who thinks this graph has any probative value at all. take your graph to a peer reviewed journal, or to the IPCC, or whomever, submit your 'findings' to them, once you manage to get it _genuinely_ published, not vanity published, you might find receptivity to it increase from the current nil to slight. Anastrophe 20:23, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not referring to the precision of the confidence interval, I am referring to the precision of the mid-interval prediction (the solid black line) in its accuracy of predicting 2005 preliminary estimates from the 1950-1998 data. Your assertion that "costs are primarily sociological in origin" is not supported by any sources; it is contradicted by the Association of British Insurers, which claims 20% [1] and by the analysis of Choi, O. and A. Fisher, "The Impacts of Socioeconomic Development and Climate Change on Severe Weather Catastrophe Losses: Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) and the U.S." Clim. Change 58, 149 (2003), and by the Wuebbles and Hayhoe, "Climate Change Projections for the United States Midwest," in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 9, 335 (2004.)
Do you have any sources at all supporting your repetitive assertions? —James S. 20:41, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
your sources above do not appear to present your graph. the onus is upon you to show that your graph is not original research; you have provided no citations showing your research has been presented in a peer-reviewed journal of any kind. the originator of a graph that has been charged to be original research is *not* the person who makes the decision as to whether it is or is not original research, since there is a conflict of interest at work. that's why a peer-review is required for such research - it eliminates that conflict of interest (your peers determine whether it is valid, not you yourself). provide a pointer to a reputable peer-reviewed journal that has published your graph, and your analyses therein. until then, your graph remains original research. to repeat from the WP:NOR policy: "Reputable publications include peer-reviewed journals, books published by a known academic publishing house or university press, and divisions of a general publisher which have a good reputation for scholarly publications." your graph does not appear in any such publication, unless i'm mistaken. please stop posting your original research to wikipedia until it has been peer-reviewed per the qualifications listed above. i'm removing the graph. this will constitute my third reversion, so please do not post the graph again. Anastrophe 21:06, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Display of an extrapolation trend, as revised after review, and reflecting the best known fit to the underlying data is not considered original research by the scientific community. However, it is a valid way of displaying the underlying data published by reputable sources. Of all the versions of the graph created in 2005, the graph included and shown above was by far the best at predicting the preliminary 2005 data which only because available on 2 January 2006. I believe that the graph is valuable, accurate, correctly reflects the confidence of the fit, and carries an important message. —James S. 02:25, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

(back left)"as revised after review" - please provide a link or reference to the organization(s) that has/have reviewed your work. "carries an important message" - this suggests that you believe the prediction tells us something significant. what is that message, specifically? you are suggesting, in the legend to the graph, that some of the predicted increase in cost is due to global warming. the problem is that that's an extremely vague assertion. if you are charting trends in costs, then you should be able to quantify the sources of those increased costs specifically, rather than vaguely. this points out the flaw in your argument - you believe that it is global warming that is causing the increase in costs, but you don't have evidence of that. if the increase in costs of extreme weather were the result of global warming, then the future trends would tend to ramp up at approximately the same rates, but unless i'm mistaken, they do not. please overlay your graph with this: Global Warming Predictions.png.

you'll see that your predictions are completely out of bounds with predictions for increases in global average temperature. if you review the changes in global climate over the last 100 years, and compare them to the changes in costs of extreme weather over the last 100 years, you'll see there's no correlation either. between about 1910 and 1945, the global average temperature rose a bit more than .4 degrees celsius. between about 1975 and 2005, the global average temperature rose about .4 degrees celsius. if global warming were the cause of the increased costs, then there should have been similar increases in cost between 1910 and 1945, and 1975 and 2005. global warming *may* have contributed in some small - and non-quantifiable - measure, but the majority of the cost increase was cultural, and sociological. in short, you are making a prediction - and claiming contributing factors - which are unsupported by the data. your predictions and conclusions aren't supported by the existing data; your research is speculative, rather than informative; it is original research, as your opinion of the probative value is not supported by any peer-review. in short, your graphs do not belong in an encyclopedia. or in wikipedia, for that matter. Anastrophe 06:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The original graph was reviewed extensively in Talk:Global warming, and the suggestions there were incorporated in December 2005, using the same 1950-1998 data to produce the revision which predicted the 2005 preliminary figure published in January 2006. The important message is that the financial costs are increasing much more steeply than most people imagine. There is no question that global warming increases evaporation and transpiration, leading to increased precipitation. Global warming also directly increases average wind speed through more rapid daytime thermal expansion of air and the resulting increased barometric pressure gradients. Those factors both contribute to stronger storms, as explained in the peer-reviewed citations above. The idea that "most" of the increased costs are sociological (such as more building on the coast) is contradicted by the Association of British Insurers, who say that 80% of the costs can be eliminated by 2080 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Choi & Fisher and Wuebbles & Hayhoe papers both also suggest that the increase is due more to increased storm strength than societal factors. The reason that storm strength increases aren't expected to rise in parallel with temperature is due to at least two factors: first, there are positive feedback effects (water vapor in cloud and transparent form is a greenhouse gas) and because increases in sea level from polar ice cap melting make an otherwise-equivalent coastal storm more costly. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns but when you assert that the conclusions as shown in the extrapolation are unfounded, I believe you are mistaken. I can not claim that the .jpg costs graph above is "original" because it is a product of others' review, and it is not "research" because it merely reflects the best possible fit (in the correct, nonnegative domain) of the underlying published data. The graph is important and should be included. —James S. 06:55, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

(back left)I'm afraid i'm going to have to take this point by point, which is not well handled by the wiki format. your text will be in italics, mine, not.

you seem to be suggesting that comments and discussion on wikipedia's discussion pages constitute "peer review". that is not the case. please see WP:NOR.

  • The important message is that the financial costs are increasing much more steeply than most people imagine.

how have you determined what most people imagine? do you have some poll results you can cite? the message of increasing costs is more than adequately demonstrated by the IPCC graph, [[2]], which shows the actual costs and their increasing nature.

  • There is no question that global warming increases evaporation and transpiration, leading to increased precipitation. Global warming also directly increases average wind speed through more rapid daytime thermal expansion of air and the resulting increased barometric pressure gradients. Those factors both contribute to stronger storms, as explained in the peer-reviewed citations above.

none of this is in dispute. unfortunately, the chart of cost increases, compared with the increase in global temperatures over the last 100 years, does not support your conjecture. again - .4 degree C rise from about 1910 to 1945. another .4 degree C rise from about 1975 to present. if global warming were the cause of the increased costs, then if one graphs the costs over the last 100 years, one should see rises of nearly identical proportion during those intervals, with an approximately flat interval from 1945 to 1975, when global temperatures did not rise (in fact, showing a small average drop). it should be trivially easy to obtain this cost data for the interval prior to the IPCC graph.

  • The idea that "most" of the increased costs are sociological (such as more building on the coast) is contradicted by the Association of British Insurers, who say that 80% of the costs can be eliminated by 2080 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

this is a nonsensical comment. the last time i checked, it was 2006, not 2080. with all due deference to the association of british insurers, i don't believe they are experts in climatology. i also strongly dispute predictions so far into the future, on the simple basis that they are fiction - pleasant fictions to entertain perhaps, but fictions nonetheless. there are no time machines. too little is understood about global warming to suggest what the climate will be like in 2080. what i am talking about, which should be patently obvious considering my rejection of your predictions and most others, is the current data that we already have. the interval covered by the IPCC graph is also an interval of unprecedented economic development in this country. The US real GDP in 1950 was $1.7 trillion (year 2000 basis). in 2004, it was $10.7 trillion. the population was 151 million in 1950, 293 million in 2004 [3]. The implications of that should be about as subtle as a tree falling on you. the increase in cost from extreme weather is due to massively expanding wealth of our country over that interval. many other countries have experienced similar expansions.

  • I can not claim that the .jpg costs graph above is "original" because it is a product of others' review, and it is not "research" because it merely reflects the best possible fit (in the correct, nonnegative domain) of the underlying published data.

it is original because it has not been peer reviewed. review by other wikipedia editors does not constitute peer review. this should not need be repeated again and again. your graph extrapolates beyond the published data, it does not restrict itself only to the published data. as such, it is original research. another issue worth noting - since the preliminary cost estimates came out recently, you've been claiming that your graph has been validated because it 'correctly' predicted the increased costs suggested by that preliminary data. here's the problem: please read the IPCC graph again. please review the data from which you generated your graph. then please review bullet point number two of this very article. the error should be obvious. the fact that you've generated further graphs from a wholey incorrect datapoint - if not embarrassing - should at least get you to stop and review your methods, and to ask yourself how careful you are being in generating these graphs. the IPCC graph is entitled Global Costs of Extreme Weather Events. the preliminary cost estimates you have cited, and incorporated into your graph, are US only! of course, i fully expect you to rationalize the mistake, since it 'falls within the confidence intervals', even though it's the wrong data. i've devoted too much time to this already. the conclusions you draw from your graphs are deeply flawed, and it is your conclusions that are primarily in dispute. but, i give up. others can try to talk sense on this matter. Anastrophe 09:03, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

one final note. as i pointed out above, the increase in GDP since 1950 has been nearly ten-fold. then take note of the comments on [this] graph, particularly "Yearly economic losses from large events increased 10.3-fold from US$4 billion in the 1950s to US$40 billion per year in the 1990s (all in 1999 US$).". how much clearer can it be? it's not the weather (or at least, it's not much). it's the increase in wealth. Anastrophe 09:09, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

What is the best way to display the trend information?[edit]

If not a graph, then what? Numbers? A paragraph word problem? --James S. 00:55, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem is you are making strong predictions (unmotivated by outside sources) and obscuring the underlying data. If you stuck closer to the data, presented a graph like this, and described it fairly (e.g. noted that some of the change is related to non-environmental factors like income and population growth) then it should be fine. Dragons flight 01:08, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, you found that after I'd been looking for months. Thank you. And you know your graphs are much more attractive than mine, because I'm an audio stats guy, and my graphic design training was mostly along the lines of developing film from a phototypesetter. So, please, boldly fix the graph you think should be, with as much or as little information about the trend and its confidence interval as you feel is appropriate. --James S. 18:22, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, I forgot: I am sorry I accused you of bad faith regarding the orientation of the x-axis from left to right. At the time, I was being accused of POV-pushing and I couldn't believe that people actually held the other point of view after the amount of government effort being paid to push it had been disclosed. Please accept my apology. --James S. 18:26, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

WMC removed reference formatting![edit]

What the fuq!?!? Can you explain the revert WMC? J. D. Redding

You're not the only pereson who got in trouble with the arbcomm: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Climate_change_dispute_2 William M. Connolley 11:56, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Not a very subtle personal swipe ... does nothing for your actions though ... the "Choosing citation format" back up the full citation (eg., comprehensive reference information) more than the inline versionj you revereted to. Please explain more fully ... otherwise the fuller source info shuold be put back in. J. D. Redding 12:14, 6 March 2006 (UTC) (PS., listing the article and other info help when the lik becomes defunct .. which happens quite often over time ...)

If you want to repeat the entirety of the arguments in the arbcomm case, I suggest you do it in some corner of your user pages where it won't waste everyone elses time William M. Connolley 14:07, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

A good reference section w/alphabetized listing by author or web handle, if no author is given, would be a good addition. Then perhaps a Harvard style notation (standard in most science pubs) could take the place of the number in the direct inline link. This would be the best in my view and avoid the absurd multiple clicking required to check out a linked reference. I am a strong supporter of direct inline links. This is the web, not a book. Vsmith 16:33, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Global daily highest temperature[edit]

Hi, does anyone know of a source somewhere on the internet that lists extremes for the previous day, I wish to plot the daily highest temperature with google maps but cannot seem to find any source for this information despite hours of googleing. Htaccess 12:27, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Strange tornado force-scale recalibration article[edit]

Does this article strike anyone else as strange? --James S. 22:26, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Tornado force scale adjusted[edit]

Missourian News

By KURT AUSTIN, March 31, 2006

Forty-four tornadoes touched down across Missouri on March 11-12, resulting in 10 fatalities and 107 injuries, according to updated information from ground and aerial surveys done by the National Weather Service’s Missouri offices.

Several of the tornadoes in mid-Missouri, including the one that killed four in Renick, were given an F3 rating on the Fujita scale used to estimate wind speeds based on damage. A tornado in Monroe County was rated F4, a classification for tornadoes with winds between an estimated 210 and 261 miles per hour.

At this time next year, tornadoes causing the same amount of damage will be classified as having lower wind speeds based on research showing the existing scale overestimates wind speed.

The old scale, named after famed storm researcher Tetsuya Theodore Fujita and adopted in 1971, was thought to be limited by meteorologists in its ability to draw a correlation between damage and wind speed.

“The new scale refines the wind speed,” said Pat Slattery, spokesman for the National Weather Service’s regional office in Kansas City. “The corrections will make the enhanced scale ratings more accurate and consistent.”

The new scale will be known as the Enhanced Fujita Scale and will go into effect in February.And March

Anthony Lupo, associate professor of atmospheric science at MU, said the change will not affect the public, but rather will improve the accuracy and consistency of tornado intensities.

“It is a transparent change as far as the public is concerned,” Lupo said. “But they are going to get a much better picture in the end of how severe a tornado may have hit.”

He said the change will make a bigger difference in Missouri and the Midwest than elsewhere because of its proximity to tornado alley.

The new scale, developed by a forum of meteorologists and wind engineers nationwide in cooperation with Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, will continue to rate tornado categories from F0, the weakest, to F5, the strongest. However, the wind speeds are lowered in every category except F0 to be more accurate by taking into account damage indicators — that is, the type of structures damaged — and the degree of damage to those indicators.

For example, the enhanced scale will differentiate between hardwood and softwood trees as well as buildings such as schools, churches or homes. In the assessment of those structures, eight degrees of damage will be used ranging from visible damage to complete destruction. Field tests and training of the process are under way nationwide.

The National Weather Service is the only agency with the authority to provide an official Fujita scale rating. The rating represents the highest estimated wind speed that occurred during the life cycle of the tornado.

This is true. It is actually a quite good new system, which takes into account the different degrees of damage for different structures, leading to a better maximum wind speed estimate. Also, the new scale is based on 3-second wind gust speed. There is more at Fujita scale. Runningonbrains 12:51, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Anyone still think I'm cooking numbers?[edit]

Just out of curiosity, does anyone still think I spend time fiddling with trend projections in order to come out with particularly freightening results?

I swear, I've never done that. Every time I've ever run the best models available to me on ordinary personal computers, people have accused me of cooking the fit somehow to come up with a worst-case scenario. It happened in 2000, when I did this carbon dioxide trend extrapolation (R2=0.98, logistic sigmoid consistent with resource consumption by growing population, predicting leveling off around 813 ppm about year 2800) and of course it happened 2005-6 here on Wikipedia.

Nobody ever accuses me of trying to come up with a best-case scenario. Maybe in 2010 someone will accuse me of that. --James S. 06:45, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

EPA etc[edit]

I removed the EPA link [4] since when you look closely it doesn't actually support the text. It says that there are more disasters, but it doesn't explicitly link them to GW.

I also toned down the WMO bit - commondreams had got carried away. WMO didn't say quite that.

And the TAR is always good.

William M. Connolley 21:32, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

[5] The EPA said:
Given development and population trends in high-risk areas, potential future impacts of global warming – such as sea level rise and increased storm activity and severity – could prove far more costly.
That is an explicit link. The Commondreams article said:
"Recent scientific assessments indicate that, as the global temperatures continue to warm due to climate change, the number and intensity of extreme events might increase," the WMO said, giving a striking series of examples.
Do you actually believe the WMO didn't say that? 100+ ghits I am replacing your deletions. James S. 17:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)


Can't find it at the moment, but this post by RP Jr is worth reading re the ABI report William M. Connolley 21:05, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Why did you mention that here? I can't find any ABI or discussion of insur* on the 24 April 06 version or earlier versions in the same month. James S. 17:55, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Lead paragraph[edit]

The lead section to this article seems very sloppy and may not be NPOV. Would someone care to weigh in, or possibly fix it? Climatology is not my area of expertise. Runningonbrains 12:46, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Probative Value of List?[edit]

looking at the listing of extreme weather events that has grown in this entry - which now makes up the majority of the entry - it strikes me as exceedingly misleading. aside from a handful of extreme weather events i (and others) took the time to research a year ago and add information for, the the listings for 2005 and 2006 overwhelm the page in the minutia they record. this is a function - i believe - of the ease of recording events as they happen contemporaneously, not of the actual frequency of extreme weather events. for that matter, there's no real evidence to suggest that the majority of these events are in any way associated with extreme weather - they are simply weather events that caused loss of life in one degree or another. by that measure, the flooding of the lower mississippi in 1927, which cost 300,000 lives, was clearly the greatest "extreme weather" event of last century...frankly i think the list should be tossed, as i see no scientific rigor being applied in the determination that X event actually constitutes "extreme weather", according to the definition that opens this entry. Anastrophe 17:39, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you to an extent. I was simply adding all of these events here because there's nothing in the way of anything that documents weather events (and I'm pulling most of these from the NOAA Extreme Weather site). If we can come up with what should be included here, then I'd be willing to trim down this list and help with adding what should be included. bob rulz 19:34, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
So is this becoming List of extreme weather events? If so, we can keep severe weather as an article on types of severe weather, the way it is now. -Runningonbrains 16:24, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I've been thinking of several ways we could change this article, but to move all of the stuff and to write a good article about extreme weather is a monumental task that I'm not up to at the moment, and haven't been for a while. I agree that the article should be split, I just don't know the best way to do it. If someone else wants to Be Bold and do it, then that would help tremendously. I just don't have the time. bob rulz 22:26, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
It is done. I had to do something similar to tropical cyclone rainfall climatology and split off a list. Thegreatdr 21:05, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Add here Climate change hots up in 2010, the year of extreme weather ?[edit]

Add here Climate change hots up in 2010, the year of extreme weather: Last year was the joint-warmest on record and also the wettest over land, with sea ice levels dropping and drought on the rise by John Vidal in The Guardian 27 June 2011 ? (talk) 06:41, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

NYT and WSJ resources, regarding Effects of global warming[edit] (talk) 00:19, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (talk) 04:49, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Costs: copyvio?[edit]

[6] looks like a copyvio from the IPCC report William M. Connolley (talk) 17:43, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

USDA resource[edit]

Weather Extremes Causing More Variable USDA Data, Analysts Say by Jeff Wilson Dec 6, 2011 12:00 AM ET, excerpt ...

USDA crop-production estimates are made each month from August through January with the exception of December. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys 11,000 to 27,000 farmers for each report, according to Joe Prusacki, the director of statistics at the agency. For most reports, two samples are also taken from about 1,900 fields. “The USDA has an impossible task every year, and the last few years, the variability increased because of the weather problems,” Dale Durchholz, the senior market analyst for AgriVisor LLC in Bloomington, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “People have to remember that the reports are just a sample of the total, and they have to anticipate there will be sampling errors based on weather conditions.” (talk) 07:55, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

potential resource[edit]

from Portal:Current events/2011 December 8 (talk) 01:58, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

What defines historical distribution?[edit]

What defines historical distribution?

See Season creep, Creeping normalcy, etc ... How to Boil a Frog (talk) 05:52, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

from Portal:Current events/2011 December 26[edit]

  • Tens of thousands of people are left without power after one of the biggest storms for 30 years hits Scandinavia. (Al Jazeera) (talk) 00:06, 27 December 2011 (UTC)


from Portal:Current events/2011 December 25 (talk) 11:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)


Which of these two graphs is best? (talk) 06:29, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

For what? Thunderstorms and losses? (talk) 22:44, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Those are from the same source, which has been called into question (unjustly, I think) below. has an Oxfam graph from the EM-DAT dataset which agrees with Munich Re. But what we really need is some measure of the magnitude of the events, not just their raw counts. Npmay (talk) 21:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Logical dilemma[edit]

If, as the lede says, extreme weather is defined as that which occurs only 5% or less of the time, then how can we say in the next few sentences that there has been an increase in extreme weather events? Surely either we must say that the most unusual 5% of weather is now getting more extreme, or we must drop that definition. (I remember a school teacher saying that since half the class had got results below the class average, that next term he wanted to see everyone getting above average marks...) --Nigelj (talk) 13:36, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Well it does say/imply that this is based on the historical distribution - so if you have rapid change, you'll leave that band. OTOH it also says "According to climate scientists and meteorological researchers, extreme weather events are rare" which is stupid because it is trivially true William M. Connolley (talk) 16:35, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
What does "5% or less of the time" mean? Is it really a fraction of events and not continuous time?
Are there any datasets with the intensity of storms, floods, and droughts, without regard to their economic or insured losses (sensitive to population shifts) or raw numbers of events (insensitive to strength)? Npmay (talk) 21:16, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

'Background' section[edit]

I see that this section has recently been deleted. It appears it was added in these edits by an IP editor (or two?) on 29 October. Nonetheless, with my understanding of the current state of climate science on this point, I don't feel that it is realistic for an article like this to read as if there is no background to current and recent extreme weather incidents. The two quotes we had may not be the best that the scientific world has come up with on the subject, but they do appear to have come from somewhere. The NYT article links to this paper in Science, but unfortunately I can't read it without a subscription. On PNAS, I also found this. I have learnt that a non-expert blundering around with scholar searches is unlikely to find the very best summary, so I have stopped at this point. Do we have someone here more familiar with the domain and its literature who could point us to a good summary of the present state of mainstream science? --Nigelj (talk) 17:27, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

A few things. First, I wish to thank NewsAndEventsGuy for his fair play. As for the "Background" section, as I said in the comments, I removed it because it was giving undue weight to two (rather unclear, at least the second) statements taken from a single study. In general, I don't think that the results of a single scientific paper can be taken as proven facts, they should always be presented as results of a particular study. For a justification of this, see for example this article: . Finally, the link between extreme events and global warming is already mentioned in the lede, but extreme events are not specific of global warming, they exist independently of it - the question is if their rate is changing. So claiming that global warming is the "background" of extreme events makes little sense. As of how much extreme events can be linked to global warming, it is at the moment pretty dubious as far as I know. For example, the latest IPCC report on extreme events (SREX 2012) denied a significant increase of hurricanes and tropical storm. Obviously in the mainstream media many extreme events are often associated with global warming, but that's more because, well, it's a bit in the zeitgeist.Udippuy (talk) 17:53, 1 November 2012 (UTC)


I agree we should have a background section. The initial one drafted by the IP suffers from three problems:
(A) The IP gave the wrong citation in the ref tag. He meant to cite the 2012 Hansen paper freely available here That ref supports everything in the section including the quotes.
(B) Although geolocating to Indiana the IP is almost certainly a sock of the external-link spamming editor from michigan who recently spent time in Florida. It is the same m.o. and IPS from the other states have been silent. So the whole section is by a block evader.
(C) In keeping with the external linkspam behavior of this blocked sockpuppet the section is only halfway written - no make that a quarter of the way written. You can not just slap sloppy vague text a ref and a few cut and pastes to convert linkspam into article improvements. I would have more patience with the IP if their edits were not staccato. This lazy bum needs to take time with each edit - which they do not - to keep from trashing the quality of our articles. If he would do that he probably would not give the wrong ref.
As for this being a single paper.... that would be a stronger objection if we were talking about projections but this is just number crunching based on past observations so objections that a single paper does not demarcate "the truth" sounds awfully POVish and holds little water without a paper from the peer reviewed sci lit that crunches the numbers differently. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:04, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I found A decade of weather extremes in Nature Climate Change, but as usual, I can't access the full text. The abstract says it is a "review of the evidence", and Google Scholar says it's cited by 15, but I'm not sure how far that boosts it up the 'reliability' scale. The abstract says, "for some types of extreme — notably heatwaves, but also precipitation extremes — there is now strong evidence linking specific events or an increase in their numbers to the human influence on climate." Well done for finding the correct Hansen paper. I'm sure we have enough here to rewrite a good background section. With all this science in the peer reviewed literature I don't for one minute accept that this is just a media zeitgeist. Perhaps Udippuy will be able to find a modern peer reviewed review paper saying that it is? If so we would of course include both sides for scientific balance. --Nigelj (talk) 18:22, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, the word "truth" is a bit of a taboo here on WP. Anyway, I really want to make the point that a single paper cannot be taken as a proof of anything. I find it reasonable to report its findings, for example "A 2012 study by etc etc found that..", but to present its findings as matter of fact is misleading. Not only for climate change, but in general. That's also why organizations as IPCC exists, to assess the current knowledge by taking in consideration the whole available material on a subject. Udippuy (talk) 18:27, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
SREX 2012 download page. --Nigelj (talk) 18:44, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I was already checking it. Ok, I'm pasting the summary at pages 109-110, adding the values for the uncertainties as provided by this translation table: :
"There is medium confidence (50% chance) of a warming trend in daily temperature extremes in much of Asia. Confidence in observed trends in daily temperature extremes in Africa and South America generally varies from low to medium (= 20-50%) depending on the region. Globally, in many (but not all) regions with sufficient data there is medium confidence (50% chance) that the length or number of warm spells or heat waves has increased since the middle of the 20th century. It is likely (>66% chance) that there have been statistically significant increases in the number of heavy precipitation events (e.g., 95th percentile) in more regions than there have been statistically significant decreases, but there are strong regional and subregional variations in the trends. There is low confidence (=20% chance) that any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. It is likely (>66% chance) that there has been a poleward shift in the main Northern and Southern Hemisphere extratropical storm tracks. There is low confidence (20% chance) in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems. There is medium confidence (=50% chance) that since the 1950s some regions of the world have experienced a trend to more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium (?) evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods at regional scales because the available instrumental records of floods at gauge stations are limited in space and time, and because of confounding effects of changes in land use and engineering. Furthermore, there is low agreement in this evidence, and thus overall low confidence at the global scale regarding even the sign of these changes. It is likely (>66% chance) that there has been an increase in extreme coastal high water related to increases in mean sea level in the late 20th century." Udippuy (talk) 19:02, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
@Nigelj - did you have your original source from there: Extreme Weather of Last Decade? The PIK seems to be considered of some authority in any event. Askedonty (talk) 20:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To me it makes little sense to bump Hansens 2011/2012 work analyzing observed past events in favor of the IPCCs 2007 summary of even older research. See

So I disagree with burying our current understanding with an old summary of even older research. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:28, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

If you're talking about IPCC's SREX, it's been published in March 2012 Udippuy (talk) 20:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Hasty twice in an afternoon I hate that. Thought you meant AR4. I have not yet thought about the 2012 thing. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:08, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Translation of other extreme weather wikipedia content[edit]

In 2013 suggested, were two pages which may be translated in parts for this article. Notification information moved now to this section. The two pages are: and prokaryotes (talk) 15:00, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

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